Cycle Northern Vietnam

Cycle Northern Vietnam

169 Views
8 Days
From

$1335

$1104

Cycle Northern Vietnam

8 Days Starting and ending in Hanoi

Visiting: Hanoi, Hanoi city ride, Mai Chau Cycling, Pu Luong National Park Cycling, Cuc Phuong National Park/Tam Coc Cycling, Halong Bay & Ninh Binh Cycling, Halong Bay & Hanoi

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

TVXS

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 16

Physical rating:

Medium, Medium

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Active

Interests:

Cultural, History

From:
$1335
$1104 (USD) Operator discount: -$200 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$31 -17%
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Tour Overview

More than 30 million Vietnamese can't be wrong - handle-bar height gives you the best view of Vietnam! Our one week cycling tour through the north of this beautiful country provides opportunities to meet the locals and experience their culture in a way that wouldn't otherwise be possible. So come with us and get active as we cycle from Hanoi to Halong Bay, down country lanes and through spectacular mountain scenery. And, of course, all the exercise gives you the perfect excuse to indulge in delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

Highlights

  • If you love the feel of a bike between your legs, the wind in your (helmet-covered) hair and tropical breeze on your face then this speedy but comprehensive 8 day adventure is for you

  • A bike lets you see Vietnam like never before – you’ll go from road to beaten track to something way beyond

  • Think of the calories you’ll burn and the appetite you’ll work up cycling around Vietnam’s incredible landscape – all the more reason to indulge in the wealth of delicious local and regional food

  • This two-wheeled adventure will show you all the different sides of this country – wildlife-filled natural landscapes, small villages and ancient ruins, along with the region’s liveliest city

  • What better way to finish a good week's cycling than relaxing with a massage on the majestic Halong Bay

  • What better way to finish a good week's cycling than relaxing on an overnight boat cruise on the majestic Halong Bay

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1: Hanoi
Location: Hanoi
Accommodation: Hotel

Xin chao! Welcome to Vietnam. Your adventure officially begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm tonight. You can arrive at any time during the day, as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

If you are bringing your own bicycle with you on the trip, you need to assemble it to check for any damage in transit before the welcome meeting.
If you have arranged for the hire of a bicycle, your leader will assist you in preparing the bike before your first cycling activity.

If you arrive with some time to spare then work your legs with a walk around Hanoi’s charming shaded boulevards and a squat on a short street-corner stools for a bia hoi (freshly brewed draught beer) in the Old Quarter.

Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We are happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception or your travel agent in advance.

Optional Activities:
-Hanoi - Army Museum
-Hanoi - Women's Museum
-Hanoi - Museum of Ethnology
-Hanoi - Fine Arts Museum

Day 2: Hanoi City Ride
Location: Hanoi city ride
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning you’ll get the chance to explore the Vietnamese capital by bike on a guided ride through the city (approx. 22kms).

Hanoi is made for exploration by bike, so this is the perfect place to get to grips with Vietnamese street life and traffic. You’ll ride through parks, around lakes, and down tree-lined boulevards and visit iconic sights such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum complex, which includes the Buddhist temple One Pillar Pagoda and the former residence of Vietnam’s most famous revolutionary, Ho Chi Minh.

There’s also time to explore the vibrant Old Quarter, an architectural museum where blocks of ochre buildings give off the air of a 1930s provincial French town. In these ancient ’36 Streets’ discover an amazing selection of shops that sell everything from souvenirs to exquisite silk clothing, jewellery, beautifully embroidered tablecloths, wood carvings and lacquerware - it's a bargain hunter's paradise.

You’ll have some free time this afternoon. Perhaps take a walk around the beautiful Hoan Kiem Lake, with the reflection of modern office buildings, old Buddhist temples and the tangle of ancient streets in its still surface, or maybe dive into culture at the Vietnam Fine Art Museum or The Vietnamese Women’s Museum. Top off the day with a steaming bowl of fresh Pho from a hole-the-wall eatery – the street food in Hanoi is not to be missed!

Included Activities:
-Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
-Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda & HCM stilt house
-Guided Hanoi city bike ride

Optional Activities:
-Hanoi - Street Food Experience Urban Adventure

Day 3: Mai Chau Cycling
Location: Mai Chau Cycling
Accommodation: Homestay
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

Saddle up this morning as your cycling adventure kicks into first gear. Leave Hanoi behind and travel by bus to Hoa Binh (approx. 2 hrs). When you arrive you’ll jump on your bike and cycle 40 kms to Cao Phong, through small ethnic Thai villages, enjoying the tranquility of the paddy fields and interacting with the local people. Limestone peaks climb in the background and banks of green line the road, and you’ll take regular stops to admire the view across the lush valleys. After arriving you’ll take a short 30-minute bus ride for the next section, stopping for lunch at Man Duc.

After you fuel up, the bus will take you to the Da River Reservoir. Stretch your legs again cycling along the Da River, passing spectacular karst cliffs, through paddy fields, and admiring the lush panorama of the Mai Chau valley on the way (approx. 20 kms).

The peaceful town of Mai Chau is situated in a stunningly beautiful valley surrounded by verdant green mountains and is famed for its breathtaking scenery and friendly hilltribe peoples. Tonight you’ll enjoy local hospitality in a simple stilt-house homestay in the village of Poom Coong. Your amicable hosts will cook up a fabulous meal, and there may even be a chance to sample some of the local rice wine produced in the region.

Included Activities:
-Guided & vehicle-supported cycling in Mai Chau

Day 4: Pu Luong National Park Cycling
Location: Pu Luong National Park Cycling
Accommodation: Homestay
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch, dinner

This morning you farewell your homestay hosts and cycle from Mai Chau to Mai Hai, and then on to Pu Luong National Park (approx 46kms). You’ll ride through more paddy fields and test you riding skills (or suspension) with the shallow potholes that can be found on the road. Pass pineapple farms and farmers riding atop their load drawn by lumbering water buffalo. Ride through small towns and wave to friendly locals on your way through picture-perfect Vietnam – lush green fields, towering limestone mountains, tranquil waterways and charming historic sites. This is a wonderful chance to see everyday rural life in action as well as take in the beautiful countryside.

Included Activities:
-Guided & vehicle-supported cycling in Pu Luong National Park

Day 5: Cuc Phuong National Park/Tam Coc Cycling
Location: Cuc Phuong National Park/Tam Coc Cycling
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

Today - over 2 rides - you’ll cycle from Pu Luong to Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam’s first and largest national park, opened by Ho Chi Minh himself, one of the most important conservation sites in the country, and home to a diverse range of flora and fauna.

Today’s riding is beautiful as you cycle through some of Vietnam’s most spectacular views, riding in between limestone karst peaks thrusting out of serene rice paddies. If the weather is good there is an option to visit the famed Hang Múa caves/viewpoint. Cycle approx. 20kms then board the support vehicle to miss the busiest of the traffic before it's back on the bikes for another 28km leg to a well-earned lunch. From there we reboard the support vehicle and cruise all the way to Tam Coc. Todays riding is undulating but definitely worth the effort.

Included Activities:
-Guided & vehicle-supported cycling in Cuc Phuong National Park

Day 6: Halong Bay & Ninh Binh Cycling
Location: Halong Bay & Ninh Binh Cycling
Accommodation: Overnight boat
Meals Included: breaksfast, dinner

Enjoy one final early morning ride through the beautiful green scenery of the Ninh Binh Province, riding (approx. 30kms) through the verdant rice field paddy scenery and along the banks of the duck-filled Hoang Long river to the opulent Bai Ding Buddhist Temple.

Here we bid farewell to our cycling support team and transfer by minivan to the spectacular World Heritage site of Halong Bay. Climb aboard a private traditional junk-style boat and venture out into the emerald waters of the bay. Open water soon disappears as the boat glides through often misty waters and past limestone peaks jutting dramatically out of the water. The area of about 1,500 square kilometres is dotted with innumerable beaches and grottos, created over thousands of years by waves and wind and you’ll explore the best of it with a visit inside the stunning caverns of Surprise Cave, past the enigmatic Ga Choi Islet and it’s uniquely shaped rock formations, and a kayak/boat excursion straight into Luon Cave, one of Halong Bay’s smallest caves.

In the warmer months perhaps opt for a swim at the tranquil Ti Top island or Soi Sim island before spending the night aboard the boat beneath the starry night sky. Dinner is included tonight.

Included Activities:
-Guided & vehicle-supported cycling near Ninh Binh
-Halong Bay - Overnight Boat Cruise

Day 7: Halong Bay & Hanoi
Location: Halong Bay & Hanoi
Accommodation: Hotel
Meals Included: breaksfast, lunch

After an amazing night on Halong Bay enjoy the cruise back to the mainland before heading back to Hanoi (approx. 5 hours travel time), arriving in the early evening.

Perhaps head down to the markets for some last-minute souvenir shopping or pay a visit to one of the city's many fascinating museums, such as the Fine Art Museum, Women's Museum or Museum of Ethnology. Toast the end of this active adventure with an optional farewell group dinner.

Day 8: Hanoi
Location: Hanoi
Meals Included: breaksfast

Your Cycle Vietnam adventure comes to an end today. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. If you are sticking around then there are plenty of things to see and do in and around Hanoi.

What's Included

  • Meals

    7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 3 dinners

  • Accommodation

    Hotel (4 nights), homestay (2 nights), resort (1 nights)

  • Transport

    Bicycle (e-bike option available, subject to availability), Support Vehicle, Boat, Taxi

  • Hanoi - Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum

  • Hanoi - One Pillar Pagoda & HCM stilt house

  • Guided Hanoi city bike ride

  • Guided & vehicle-supported cycling in Mai Chau

  • Guided & vehicle-supported cycling in Pu Luong National Park

  • Guided & vehicle-supported cycling in Cuc Phuong National Park

  • Guided & vehicle-supported cycling near Ninh Binh

show more

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

  • Airport Transfers at Destination

Accommodation

  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
  • Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.
  • WINDOWLESS ROOMS:
  • Some hotels in South East Asia have windowless rooms, or windows that don't necessarily have a view. This is often due to high population density in large cities, however local building standards also do not require rooms to have windows. We do request rooms with windows, however they aren't always available.

Transport

  • While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others.
  • Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle
  • OUR BIKES
  • In Vietnam we use a mixture of Giant Rincon Disc 1 and Giant Rincon 2 Disc bikes for sizes Small to Large. For size Extra Small we use the Giant Talon 4. These bikes are mountain bike-style with flat bars, front suspension, 24 gears and hydraulic disk brakes. For more specific information please see https://www.giant-bicycles.com/int/rincon-disc--gi--2019
  • BIKE SECURITY:
  • All personal and hired bikes are stored in our support vehicle overnight, it is not necessary to bring a lock. We recommend bringing your own lock if you bring your own bike and wish to ride outside of leader accompanied rides. It is not possible to use our hired bikes outside of the included leader accompanied rides.
  • DECLARING YOUR BIKE:
  • On arrival in Vietnam you shouldn't need to declare your bicycle. If asked you will need to explain to the authorities that your bike is used, and that you will be taking it with you when you leave.
  • An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.
  • RENTAL E-BIKES
  • Our rental e-bikes are the Giant Explore E+, available in Small & Medium sizes (up to 175cm) only – please provide your height at time of booking so that we can reserve the correct size.
  • These bikes have an Aluminum frame, flat bars, 100mm front suspension, disc brakes, a 500w battery, and Shimano 9 speed gears. Please note the maximum speed for the ‘electronic assist’ is 25kph/15mph – once you reach that speed the motor assistance cuts out (although you can still go faster if your legs can do it!)
  • BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE
  • While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this trip, please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike, please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you.
  • SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE
  • Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on are generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ section of your Essential Trip Information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike.
  • We usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our trips as they are often too large for our transport. In some destinations we can make an exception. Please ask your booking agent if you are interested in bringing a tandem bike.
  • BEFORE THE TRIP
  • We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home and contents or specialist insurance policy.
  • DURING THE TRIP
  • Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves. Your bike will be secured in the same way as our included bikes. This can occasionally be outside the vehicle (where the bikes are locked together).
  • In order to reach our destination, it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees.
  • While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts).
  • TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION
  • Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes.
  • A well-padded bike box (obtainable from a bike shop) is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities.
  • Many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle.
  • INCLUDED OR HIRE BIKES: CONDITIONS OF USE
  • You must not mistreat the bicycle and must return it in the same condition as when you received it (excepting ordinary wear and tear). You should immediately inform the supplier in the case of breakdown or loss. The provider is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the bicycle during the period of hire. You must also make sure that the bicycle is secured when not in use. If the equipment is lost or stolen you may be liable for the replacement value of the bicycle. The bicycle remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, rent out or part possession with the bicycle. You must not use the bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • INCLUDED OR HIRE BIKES: CONDITIONS OF USE
  • You must not mistreat the bicycle and must return it in the same condition as when you received it (excepting ordinary wear and tear). You should immediately inform the supplier in the case of breakdown or loss. The provider is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the bicycle during the period of hire. You must also make sure that the bicycle is secured when not in use. If the equipment is lost or stolen you may be liable for the replacement value of the bicycle. The bicycle remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, rent out or part possession with the bicycle. You must not use the bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Included Activities

    Important Information

    • 1. Please provide your height at time of booking so that we can ensure a suitable sized bike is arranged.
    • 2. Please see your Trip Notes if your departure takes place during Tet, usually in late January/early February. Although we do our best to run trips during Tet as per the scheduled itinerary, it is likely that there will be some changes to transport, accommodation or order of destinations visited.
    • 3. Whilst bicycle helmets are not compulsory in Vietnam, Intrepid cyclists must wear a quality helmet at all times while riding in Vietnam. Good quality helmets are not available in Vietnam so make sure you bring yours from home.
    • 4. During the group meeting, your trip leader will ask you if you would like to contribute to the snack kitty. This would be used to purchase extra supplies of snacks, including nuts and other energy packed goodies. It is not a compulsory kitty, although will make the purchasing of snacks easier and more convenient for you. You can find out more information from your leader upon arrival but costs are indicated in the Money Matters Section of your Essential Trip Information.
    • 5. In 2022 this trip will not stay overnight on a boat on Ha Long Bay but will stay at Lan Ha Bay.

    Check out our Q&As

    • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

      Yes

    • Is this trip right for you

      To complete this trip it is important that you are both confident and competent in riding a bicycle.

      This trip covers quite some distance – you’ll be cycling for up to 70 kilometres a day on varied terrain, so this trip is for the reasonably fit.

      There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way – a puncture here and there maybe – but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure

      You'll be spending one night in a homestay. While the accommodation is shared and basic, this is a great opportunity to interact with the locals, and get a real sense of Vietnamese daily life.

      The weather in this region can be varied. Be prepared to get sweaty and for the occasional rainstorm, which may require a change of plans.

      If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort we have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

    • Are international flights included in this tour?

      No

    • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

      No

    • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

      Yes, except optional activities

    • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

      Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

    • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

      Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

    • How long has the tour company been trading?

      Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

    • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

      Yes

    • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

      Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

    • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

      Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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    Dates & Availability

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    Sunday - Sunday

    May 12, 2024 - May 19, 2024
    $1335 $1104 (USD)

    Operator discount: -$200 (USD)

    The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$31 (USD)

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    Sunday - Sunday

    Jul 14, 2024 - Jul 21, 2024
    $1335 $1104 (USD)

    Operator discount: -$200 (USD)

    The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$31 (USD)

    Instant Booking Available

    Sunday - Sunday

    Sep 01, 2024 - Sep 08, 2024
    $1335 $1104 (USD)

    Operator discount: -$200 (USD)

    The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$31 (USD)

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    Sunday - Sunday

    Oct 13, 2024 - Oct 20, 2024
    $1350 $1116 (USD)

    Operator discount: -$202 (USD)

    The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$32 (USD)

    Instant Booking Available

    Sunday - Sunday

    Nov 10, 2024 - Nov 17, 2024
    $1390 $1149 (USD)

    Operator discount: -$208 (USD)

    The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$33 (USD)

    Instant Booking Available

    Sunday - Sunday

    Nov 24, 2024 - Dec 01, 2024
    $1390 $1149 (USD)

    Operator discount: -$208 (USD)

    The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$33 (USD)

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    Sunday - Sunday

    Dec 22, 2024 - Dec 29, 2024
    $1390 $1352 (USD)

    The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$38 (USD)

    Book with Confidence

    • Free Date Changes

      Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

    • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

      Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

    • Low Deposit

      Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

    • Cancellation Policy

      We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

      Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

      At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

      At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

      At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

    • COVID Protection

      Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
      From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

      However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

      This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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